LLocal manufacturers and agribusiness men are urged to cash in on buko juice, known in the United States as coconut water, where it is fast becoming a popular beverage because of its natural, environment-friendly and health-boosting properties.
Upon his arrival from the United States recently, P-noy announced that two US companies, Pepsi Co. and Vita Coco, want to invest in the country’s coconut industry to meet the growing international demand for coco water.
“Doesn’t it (buko juice) sometimes just go to waste? Who would have thought we could earn from it and use it to uplift the lives of many Filipinos in the provinces?” the President asked.
Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo confirmed new investments in the coconut industry could generate tens of thousands of new jobs in the provinces. He urged coconut farmers to plant new trees to enable the country to meet the demand for the beverage abroad which is growing at the rate of 40 per cent annually.
Coconut water has been found scientifically as a completely natural drink with no artificial additives or chemicals or flavorings, no cholesterol, low in sugar, low in fat, with an assortment of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other health promoting phytonutrients. On the basis of these properties, it can be an alternative to drinking carbonated and fruit flavored drinks. It can also give Gatorate and other sports drinks stiff competition,when marketed properly.
In the US, drinking buko juice swept the health and fitness circles ever since the iconic Madonna and pop star Rihanna endorsed the Vita coco brand. Madonna has also been reported to have invested substantially in the business. Other American celebrities have also gone loco over buko, including Demi Moore and Jessica Simpson. These popular personalities have set a trend which caught fire among the American public.
American nutrition researcher Dr. Bruce Fyfe was among the first scientists to promote the health benefits of coconut in his book “Coconut Water for Health and Healing.”
Fyfe issued the warning that drinking a 12-ounce can of carbonated soda is equivalent to taking in 10 teaspoons of sugar, not to mention the caffeine, phosphoric acid and sodium benzoate and other additives and preservatives found in it.
In contrast, buko water is low in sugar, has no questionable additive and preservative, supplies essential nutrients, and tastes great and thus can be enjoyed by young and old alike.